Interactive content gives marketers today a way to engage their audience with quality experiences that capture insights and provide useful information.
These actions can be as simple as clicking to learn more about a topic or as advanced as answering questions to calculate a score or other outcome.
“Interactive content is content where the audience actively participates instead of just passively reading, watching or listening,” defines Scott Brinker, author of ChiefMartec.com. Interactive content includes things like quizzes, workbooks, assessments, calculators, polls, surveys, contests, ebooks, white papers, and interactive infographics and videos.
Web development company Go Gulf cites 93 percent of marketers find interactive content effective, and 88 percent will make up to 30 percent of their content interactive this year.
According to lead marketing consultants, DemandGen interactive content gains two times more engagement than static content. More than one third of marketers cite at least 10 percent of their content is already interactive; and 88 percent say at least 10 percent of their static content will be made interactive in the next two years.
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) data reveals 77 percent of marketers find interactive content has “reusable” value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures; and 73 percent agree that combining traditional content marketing tactics with interactive enhances the retention of their brand’s message.
Creating content that thoroughly captivates users’ attention can make them provide not just more data, but relevant data. Users enjoy the content and marketers have more information about their leads. Quizzes, polls and other interactive content allows the user to provide businesses with instant feedback, and this means you not only have their contact info, but you can create more targeted and useful content for them, which naturally leads to brand loyalty.
You don’t need to be an AR (Augmented Reality) expert or coder to test the waters, with low-cost interactive content, according to HubSpot. Marketers can leverage Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram stories to poll or quiz your audience, use an online quiz creator to generate assessment for your website, or plan a live stream on a social platform that allows you to ask an expert questions.
In a HubSpot poll, 15 percent of consumers preferred to tap through Instagram Stories with quiz or poll features. This interactive content type was the third most popular story format.
Interactive videos are another great way to incorporate interactive content, utilizing the medium that is showing the most reach and engagement of any content type. Interactive videos can include click-through to landing pages, quizzes, or play certain sections based on the viewer’s choices. There are some great tools out there to help create these types of videos, with YouTube offering simple video interaction cards that can lead viewers to subscribe to your channel or watch a related video or playlist.
According to MarketingCharts, 43 percent of consumers prefer interactive video content over other types of video content because it gives them the ability to decide what information they want to view and when they want to view it.
There are lots of great tools available to create a variety of interactive content easily, without any prior design experience. Among the leading tools are SnapApp, Apester, Ion Interactive, Playbuzz, and Content Tools.
Content+ says that interesting content is a top three reason people follow brands on social media. The digital content hub finds that 60 percent of consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading custom content on its site.
Favorite of Gen Z
Unlike millennials who grew up with technology as more of a convenience than a necessity, Gen Z sees it as an integral part of their daily lives. In fact, they cannot remember a time before the Internet. They anticipate a shopping experience that leverages technology in innovative ways, while providing the reassurance of being able to connect with a live human.
Ejeweler jamesallen.com offers an interesting case study in a shopping experience that leverages technology in innovative ways. Among its cool interactive features its Diamond Display Technology that allows customers to view actual diamonds magnified up to 40 times in 360° HD; a virtual try-on feature on its mobile website that shows users how a particular ring would look on their hand; and Real-Time Diamond Inspection service that connects customers to a non-commissioned certified gemologist, who walks them through the technical aspects of their diamond. The site also helps couples share their experiences through a personalized video feature that turns their engagement photos – and a clip of their ring in 360° – into a unique stop-motion video that they can easily share with friends and family.
The ejeweler has invited couples to enter its engagement ring challenge, and hidden clues around its website for customers to find on a path to win a designer engagement ring worth $10,000 (called Race to the Rock). And, it enables customers to partner with it for “Giving Tuesday” initiatives, benefiting Jewelers for Children.
Research commissioned by The Plumb Club and conducted by The Futurist in 2019, finds consumers today would rather focus on ideas and future-thinking concepts that inspire them, citing hyper-customized online content exciting to them. Most consumers find online ads a nuisance to skip or mute while trying to enjoy their online selected content.